The US lags far behind its peers on delivering “inclusive” economic growth. Moreover, since certain developed countries manage to boost incomes for the rich as well as the poor, inequality isn’t an inevitable byproduct of globalization and technological change.
See my blog on Vox with Max Roser.
With inequality rising and household incomes across developed countries stagnating, accurate monitoring of living standards cannot be achieved by relying on GDP per capita alone. In this VoxEU column I analyse with colleagues Brian Nolan and Max Roser the path of divergence between household income and GDP per capita for 27 OECD countries. It finds several reasons why GDP per capita has outpaced median incomes. We recommend to assign median income a central place in official monitoring and assessment of living standards over time.
Which model is best in delivering prosperity for its citizens? If we group countries with similar institutional settings are grouped together, can we see differences in median household income GDP per capita, or inequality? In a new working paper, we find remarkably wide variation across OECD countries in recent decades in economic performance. This variation is also seen within the liberal and coordinated market economy models distinguished in the varieties of capitalism literature, as well as within the welfare regimes commonly employed in welfare state analysis, with little difference between them in average growth rates.
In a new LIS working paper publication, written together with Brian Nolan, Lane Kenworthy, Max Roser, and Tim Smeeding, we show that there are striking differences across OECD countries in how “ordinary” households have fared from around 1980 through the Great Recession. Economic growth and inequality together leave much of the variation in the income position of these households unaccounted for, so direct measures of how these incomes in the middle of the distribution are evolving need to be central to monitoring progress towards inclusive growth.
Two new pieces I wrote are now online; one chapter on healthcare expenditures and budgeting in the Netherlands in an edited OECD book, and a book review on CES CritCom of Tony Atkinson’s “Inequality: What can be done?” (2015, Harvard University Press).